Low Cost Outdoor Camera Pole?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by DaveInFL, Dec 5, 2016.

Share This Page

  1. DaveInFL

    DaveInFL n3wb

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    First off, I want to say that I've been reading this forum for several months and have learned a lot ... so, thanks to the community. There seems to be some very knowledgeable and experienced people on this forum so I'm hoping someone can provide a solution to my problem.

    I need to improve security camera coverage for a property that I own and need to mount cameras about 20 feet above ground on some type of pole. When I Google CCTV poles and look at the prices they seem to start at $750 a pole and go up from there. I need at least 10 poles so a $7.5K investment just for the poles makes the project unfeasible. The poles don't need to be aesthetically pleasing, just functional and stable under normal wind conditions.

    Does anyone here have any good ideas for making a low cost camera pole? I'm trying to think outside the box so any feedback is welcome.
     
  2. zero-degrees

    zero-degrees Known around here

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,309
    Likes Received:
    716
    The first thing that comes to mind is getting some 3" or 4" OD steel pipe then sink it into the ground 3' or so depending on where you are in the country (to or below frost line). Main issue is that 20' mark you want to hit, anything you get is going to be $$$ cause of that length. I say steel pipe because it won't sway in the wind, if the wind is strong enough to sway that pipe, well, you'd have bigger problems to worry about at that point then a swaying camera.
     
  3. Jack B Nimble

    Jack B Nimble Pulling my weight

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2015
    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Great White North
    telephone poles that are recycled by hydro company, they replace cut off the 6 or 8 feet below ground and good to go. Up here they sell for 100-200 bucks. Also I see a few ham radio towers for sale at times pretty cheap or flag poles as 20 feet pretty short.
     
  4. Kawboy12R

    Kawboy12R Known around here

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    570
    4" schedule 40 galvanized pipe sunk in concrete? 3" if you don't mind a bit more vibration in wind. Cap on top to keep out the water, bottom open to earth to allow what gets in anyway to drain.
     
  5. JetG

    JetG Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    25
    It can be expensive and prices is a wild range from place to place on pipe. I called around and got a 13' 4"od sch 40 pipe for 130'ish delivered. I have not installed it but plan to have that part of my project complete in the next week or so..

    As for caps large enough, I ordered one off of Ebay for $8 shipped.
     
  6. Kawboy12R

    Kawboy12R Known around here

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    570
    Russel Metals are Canada/USA and treat me well when I need steel and they deliver if they're in your city. They've generally got a MOQ set to discourage people wanting nickel and dime orders but unless you're way off the beaten track they should look after you. Tell the sales rep what you want to do and they'll tell you a few choices along with prices if you're not sure what to order. I don't know if they'll pick something for you because of liability reasons but they can present their options.
     
  7. DaveInFL

    DaveInFL n3wb

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really appreciate the ideas; I’m trying to find a local supplier of Schedule 40 pipe. In my search I came across a fencing company in Texas that sells 24’ long galvanized pipe and it seems like a possible solution. It’s about a $110 per 24’ pole but I need to figure out if I can get it shipped to the Tampa area for a reasonable price. Here’s the info in case anyone is interested.

    http://afence.com/store/ft-3-HT-40-PIPE.html

    An idea I had was to construct a 4x6-24’ rectangular pole using 2x4-8’ and 2x4-12’ treated lumber. The boards would be staggered and then fastened with deck screws and construction glue. Using Home Depot prices, each pole would cost around $50 (ignoring the time, effort and inevitable aggravation to make them). I assume they would be reasonably stable when anchored in concrete. Definitely not an easy turn-key solution but the cheapest I could come up with.

    Any other ideas are welcome or thoughts about where I might buy 24’ sections of Schedule 40 pipe at a low price.

    Kawboy12R, I’ll check out Russel Metals – thanks for the lead.
     
  8. zero-degrees

    zero-degrees Known around here

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,309
    Likes Received:
    716
    What you describe I've seen done before just not to 20' and it was done with 2x4 and lag bolts

    Example 2 10' 2x4's with a n 8' 2x4 in the middle then stagger going up like you said with lag bolts holding the 3 interlocking section together. You could use outdoor treated lumber and prob be fine, But you do run the risk over time of wood rot at the base where it meets concrete just like a wooden fence, even with treated lumber.

    I'm sure your lumber idea would work and be solid enough, however I think the Steel/Schedule 40 pipe is the "best" solution for long term reliability, ease of install, etc. But obviously if enough savings then why not give it a try :)
     
  9. tangent

    tangent Known around here

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    720
    building supply companies have a larger selection and longer products than you'll find at home depot / lowes / menards.
     
  10. nayr

    nayr Known around here

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    9,376
    Likes Received:
    5,033
    Location:
    Denver, CO
  11. Kawboy12R

    Kawboy12R Known around here

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    570
    I'd use galvanized carriage bolts to secure the laminated wood pole, particularly near the bottom if not the whole way up. Over time and with flexing the deck screws and glue will give way much faster. You don't want your poles to delaminate in a storm. I hear you get those in Tampa.
     
  12. tangent

    tangent Known around here

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    720
    If you have trouble finding things like this, try Fergusonsearch for "waterworks" locations.
     
  13. JetG

    JetG Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    25
    Ben Orr - Owner/Operator

    Metal Supermarkets – HoustonSW

    10700 Corporate Dr, #118

    Stafford, TX 77477

    832-939-4600



    This is who I ordered mine through, they are local and live in my area so it was free delivery!
     
  14. alastairstevenson

    alastairstevenson Known around here

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    1,784
    Location:
    Scotland
    What a brilliant set of responses!
    A forum working at its best.
     
  15. Kwulabear

    Kwulabear n3wb

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
  16. DaveInFL

    DaveInFL n3wb

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I want to thank everyone again for the feedback!

    I found a local fence company that supplies longer length Schedule 40 pipe. I need to get about 1,200 feet of fence replaced so I may buy the pipe from them when I get the fence installed.

    I've been contemplating having the poles serve double duty by mounting both LED lights and cameras. I don't think the fence company sells pipe with a large enough diameter to support both, so Kwulabear thanks for the links to the local pipe suppliers!
     
  17. Frankydp

    Frankydp n3wb

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    I know its a little late, but you may consider telescoping flag poles.

    Not the best quality, but something along these lines. 20 Ft. Telescoping Flag Pole
     
  18. nayr

    nayr Known around here

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    9,376
    Likes Received:
    5,033
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    you need something far more rigid than that for a video camera; whats good for flags and lights is not good for cameras.. gets worse the more zoom you use, a PTZ needs a very solid mount for the zoom to be usable.
     
  19. Deali

    Deali Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    near Bremen Germany
    Military used stuff. Here they call it surplus. you can get masts in different length, mostly old relay station equipment. Aluminum masts, very solid. I would look here
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  20. Frankydp

    Frankydp n3wb

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    Wobble would be narly with those for anything other than lighting.

    For super stable I would go with multiple 1-2" thread gal pipe with couplings, would be way easier to get a hold of. I might go with 2 poles each concreted and connect at the top with some 90s, or a tripod setup with those. Would still need to brace somewhat. If you went with the tripod you could go way down on the material grade, aluminum or something, which would really cut cost.

    Something like a satellite tripod on google. One of those might actually work and be stable "enough" depending on your use case.

    Not really a cheap option, but cheaper than purpose built.


    The cheapest option would be mother nature.
     
  21. Frankydp

    Frankydp n3wb

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
  22. Deali

    Deali Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    near Bremen Germany
    A rig from a sailing boat would be stable and would also look very nice.